How We Roll

Today we made our way south through Pennsylvania, into West Virginia and are now just north of Virginia. I was poky (according to the trip summary below) because I had to do important things like:

A) STOP TO REMOVE MY DOWN JACKET, and

B) Go for a long walk by a creek WITHOUT MY DOWN JACKET.

It doesn’t take long for things to warm up when you travel straight south. No sign of any snow or ice today. I think we are now quite firmly in the above-zero zone! Tomorrow I will store the down jacket into the depths of the van’s “basement” and swap out my heavy hiking/winter boots for regular shoes. A happy day.

I’m using the timeline feature in Google maps to help me document this trip. It’s a great feature to record dates, routes driven and where you stay. Although my memory doesn’t do well with these details, even with prompts such as these, it does help me describe my adventure to my linear-thinking friends :).

On today’s journey I got thinking about what I’ve learned and changed since last year’s extended road trip.

The biggest change is definitely my relationship to the “stuff” I bring.

I ditched a lightweight coat in favour of layering. I didn’t bring a lot of books. In fact, I didn’t bring any this year and completely forgot my Kindle! I didn’t spend much time reading last time; preferring to do little bits of creative writing, blogging or doing something crafty. There are always libraries.

I reduced my kitchen equipment dramatically – changing up a Bodum for a simple collapsible wire basket, pour-over thingy that sits on one coffee cup. I brought a quarter of the food, having learned that (to my surprise) food is generally available across most of North America. Ha ha.

I did add a new water jug with a hand-pump I can access while driving, so I drink more water. I also moved Pips into a smaller dog bed, which sits lower right next to me (in the console area) while driving. Since falling out of the van window in the summer (Ug, I hate to even think about it) she became adverse to her other seat.

I put a basket with a lid on the passenger seat, in which to store things I need easy access to, like my camera, maps, Pippa’s leash, halter and my water bottle. She can sit up on it, when we aren’t driving and she wants a better view. Like below 🙂


I did contemplate getting a back-up camera but decided I had driven without one all these years and haven’t had any problems. Just because technology exists doesn’t necessarily mean I need it! I’m still covered under my 100,000 km warranty and have road-side assistance, so won’t need CAA until next year.

I also wanted to admit I wasn’t quite honest yesterday, saying I don’t plan before I leave. I actually do plan, it’s just not of the actual “travelling” kind, like where I’m going and how exactly I’m getting there. Ha ha. It’s more a pre-departure list, which looks like this:

  • letting my bank know Ill be in the USA so they don’t block my card or credit card
  • purchasing travel insurance
  • putting emergency money into my savings account
  • making sure all my bills are paid up and set for auto-pay while gone
  • arranging for care of my place while gone, including snow ploughing
  • having van fully inspected and serviced
  • downloading yoga classes and music while I have wifi
  • having Pippa’s check up and making sure she is up to date
  • double checking all the dates on my travel docs, for expiry dates
  • Putting my health information on a card and placing in the visor
  • stocked up on Pippa’s foods and favourite treats
  • filled up my small propane tank (a one pound tank will last the whole trip!)
  • Didn’t fill up the water, realizing that it would have frozen before I left! What a mess that would have been. Proof one can be over-prepared if a dose of big-picture thinking isn’t added.

I’m going to see if I can find a quaint little town to stay in tomorrow night, Christmas Eve.

Wow, that sounds like an attempt at an actual plan! Ha! Ha! I know, at the end of the day, I will simply follow my “feels.” Cause that’s how I roll.


6 thoughts on “How We Roll

  1. Jonesborough Tn is the oldest town in TN and is about 10 miles off I81. Quaint small town. I live 1 mile off I81 exit 50 if you want a safe driveway to park in. Safe travels

    1. Hi Marie… Ah, what a kind offer, thank you… I am a bit further south this time but I sure appreciate your hospitality! Merry Christmas to you and yours 🙂

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